Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Dreams…

Perhaps I am unusual in that I don’t have only one dream, and that my dreams have changed over the years. While growing up, all I ever wanted was to live in Southern California where it’s warm and sunny year round and you can hang out with celebrities or go to the beach. Today I am a little less star-struck, and not as big a fan of the beach, but still wouldn’t mind spending my summers near Venice Beach. It looks as exciting a place to be as anywhere with its vibrant and colorful boardwalk not to mention the eccentric characters that frequent it. At least this is the impression I get from seeing it on television. However, I would definitely not want to drive in the city knowing how horrific the traffic is, not to mention all the smog created in part by the many cars on the road.

Being that the weather is a little more pleasant up north and there’s more to do culturally, I wouldn’t mind having one of the “painted ladies” to live in while I perhaps have a job at a place like the City Lights bookstore. At least one room in my house (like the dining room just off the kitchen) needs to be an exposed brick wall, because I just love the look. I would also require one room set aside as a library complete with a ladder and a chaise lounge on which to stretch out and read.

At the heart of it, I think I am really more of an East Coast girl preferring to be closer to Europe. Also, I quite like experiencing different seasons. If I had to choose where to live on the East Coast it would be New York City hands down. However, having visited there, I can appreciate how manic the city is and how tight living quarters are. But, this being a dream, I would want to live in a spacious (with perhaps 3 bedrooms) apartment with a view of Central Park. I would also want enough money to be able to see at least one Broadway play a month if I wanted. Dream job – either a successful author or work in publishing proofreading manuscripts.

I also sometimes dream of life as a college English literature professor at somewhere like Princeton or Yale where I have a brood of children and we live in a nice big house in Connecticut. The children grow up and have families of their own and come back to visit me like in the movies “The Family Stone,” “Dan in Real Life” or “Bed of Roses.”

Having lived in England after getting married, sometimes I dream about retiring there. I like the idea of living in a small village and knowing your neighbors, but it would have to be somewhere where there’s a decent bus service since I probably wouldn’t be driving. Among other things, I think I would enjoy having a small garden and going to work in a charity shop where I have first dibs on peoples’ old cast-offs. Of course I would pay for everything, but it’s still fun getting to have a first look.

I also think it would be nice to have an apartment on the South Bank (London) where you’re close to the National Film Theatre and a short walk to the Millennium Bridge and over to the Tate Modern. However, like in NYC, I don’t fancy the crowds and rush hour on the tube, but in my ideal world I wouldn’t have to work at peak hours.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


With the autumn TV season just on the horizon, I thought it was time to plug some of my favorite returning programs.


Antiques Roadshow – love the stories, esp. when they say they bought the item for a pittance and it turns out to be quite profitable; also love the Feedback Booth at the end.
Big Bang Theory – Sheldon. You’re too funny and you make me feel less neurotic!
How I Met Your Mother – yeah, so it’s like a rehash of “Friends;” it’s a chance to live vicariously through some young New Yorkers who have a slightly more exciting life than me.
Modern Family – absolutely love the two gay guys. They totally make the show for me.
Parenthood – Even though I’m not a parent, nor do I have plans to become one, these are likeable enough characters that it’s easy to relate to them on one level or another.
The Middle – kind of funny and makes you feel better about your own family and childhood.


Dr. Who – the doctor is fairly charismatic, as is his sidekick; plus the stories are interesting and sometimes leave you on the edge of your seat.
Get it Sold – I love watching people’s diamond in the rough (their house) get polished and then sold.
Graham Norton – Graham is funny and a lot less annoying than Jonathan Ross when he interviews people.
Hot in Cleveland Рokay, so perhaps a bit clich̩ at times, Betty White totally makes that show for me with her dry wit and stinging one-liners.
House Hunters – it’s nice to see what choices those in a higher (usually) economic bracket have and especially funny when it’s Americans buying overseas. “That’s quaint, but why are the rooms so small?” (said while scrunching up their noses).
Top Gear – I watch it mainly for the challenges they do from time to time which never fail to be amusing as well as thought-provoking (what car would I buy with only a $1000 budget?)
The Unselleables – Sophie Allsop, sister of Kirstie (familiar to those of us in the UK as the co-host of “Location, Location, Location”) hosts this show and it’s fun to watch her gently scold careless (or just plain ignorant) homeowners for failing to make much effort to sell their homes.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Of course everyone has different interests, so these just reflect my own personal likes and hobbies, but perhaps you might find one or two of these useful: The anonymous author has also written a book called The World According to Mimi Smartypants. I thought it was one of the funniest books I’ve ever read and continue to enjoy reading her blog. When she wrote the book in 1999 after just starting her blog, it was just her and her husband. Now it’s a family of three since they adopted Nora, their now 7 ½ year old daughter. Even though I personally don’t have children, and really don’t enjoy reading about other peoples’ kids, her exploits are quite funny and she often includes pictures, so she’s kind of grown on me. Anyone who knows Chicago, or has precocious children will be able to relate to her. This blog almost always makes my mouth water with her delectable photos of the many delicious treats she makes on a semi-regular basis. She also makes bracelets and other crafts that she sells on, so there are photos of those too. I dare you not to find this website good “eye candy” as she mentions on this week’s entry. This website is probably mostly appealing to a female audience, but there may be a few others out there who can appreciate it too. I came across this blog after seeing it recommended on another blog. I think she sums it up best herself: “Leah Dieterich's mother always told her to write thank you notes. So she does. To everything. thxthxthx is her daily exercise in gratitude.” For someone who finds the concept of keeping a gratitude journal to be difficult, I think I could handle doing something like this on a daily basis. This is my favorite photo-sharing website. It’s free to post photos, but only up to a certain bandwidth. If you want unlimited usage it costs $25 a year for a “pro” account. At times I get a little frustrated and wonder why I bother posting pictures when almost no one ever comments. However, once in awhile I get an e-mail from someone wanting to use my photo somewhere in exchange for a photo credit and sometimes extra goodies (like produce & bottled products from California). So far my biggest success to date (in my opinion at least) was getting a photo published on Woman’s Day magazine’s website. Okay, so it would be even more prestigious to have it in the actual paper copy of the magazine, but beggars can’t be choosers! For those of us who like to read and keep track of all the volumes we read, this is a great website. It’s even better because it’s linked (and probably sponsored by too I suspect) to, one of my favorite shopping websites.

my three favorite shopping websites:,, All three have their pluses and minuses, but I never fail to find something useful for a reasonable cost from time to time. If I only ever had just these three websites to do my shopping from, I could die quite happy.